Portland, OR to Buenos Aires, Argentina Before Christmas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TanukiPDX, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. 97707

    97707 Go Long

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    Congrats on making it happen. A few random wonders.

    How's your Spanish?

    Last I traveled down there, I needed a medical card showing I had had the required immunizations. They still do that?

    Some countries are fussy about importing a car or bike. They're afraid you will sell it there and take money out of the country, or they'll miss on taxes. So you have to put up $$ or show a carnet or somesuch. Red tape and paperwork, time and money. Wonder if you have researched that . . . and please do write up how that all goes.

    Similar with international insurance. Interested to see how you need to deal with that.

    How'd you decide on the 1090?

    Curious how you got all the sponsorships. Good stuff.

    :lurk
    #21
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  2. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    I would definitely suggest using the Delorme InReach rather than the Spot. Being able to receive messages is fantastic. And having someone else be able to ping your location may come in handy. Two way conversations are way better than transmit and hope someone heard you. Especially if your message is important.

    I don't know anything about using the gps navigation functions on the Delorme InReach. I have a Garmin Montana for that.

    Don't plan too much. Then you won't be disappointed when your plans don't work out. Have you read Jupiter's Travels?
    #22
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  3. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

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    I used a Spot and was very happy with it. I used a Garmin Zumo and the extra ($200?) Mexico and South America maps. I was very disappointed. The Garmin was useless in South America. It would work in big cities but nothing else. I had a free app (Maps me) that I was able to depend on.

    I started my trip with a team of 3. One spoke fluent Spanish. I depended on her but she dumped me in Panama. You don't need to speak Spanish but you need the basics like how to order food, gas or a hotel room. You'll pick up a lot after that.
    #23
  4. Kevin_

    Kevin_ Adventurer

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    I am in Portland and should still have Mexico GPS maps from my last trip. I will have a look over the weekend and let you know.
    #24
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  5. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    To be honest, the InReach or Spot device should be kept on you in case you are not on your bike and can't move when you need to push HELP so it would not be such a handy thing to use for navigation if it is in your pocket.

    I would recommend you use a Garmin GPS such as the lowest model Montana mounted in the Garmin rugged mount on a RAM ball mounting setup. The rugged mount is one of the best features of the Montana as it is solid (my Montana has never come out of it and I never use the locking screw. Believe me, it has been tested!!) and provides power to the unit thru pins and contacts in the Montana case (so you don't have to unplug or plug anything when removing or installing it from the mount). Always put a tether on your GPS in case it pops out tho. I have wasted too much time looking for fellow riders units that have come out and were not tethered... I have my Rugged mount wired thru a switch to continuous battery power so I can shut it off for the night but the unit does not turn off whenever I turn off my engine.

    You might try looking at GPSFileDepot for maps for a GPS. They have many free maps which are quite handy. I am not sure about for Central and South America tho. I like to use the US Planimetric NW and SW ones quite often in my GPS while doing big loops in NV. I also don't know how they would work with the InReach as until very recently it was not a Garmin product so it might not do maps like a Garmin product.
    #25
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  6. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    When you say you were extremely disappointed was it because the unit was not able to get a signal or because the maps did not have the right info on them?
    #26
  7. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    I know you wrote more than I quoted, but let me respond. :)

    I would guess that I am maybe 85% spanish fluent? Like any music, I still have to read lyrics to know what they are saying :) But I do have to ask what words are here and there. My spanish was probably like 50% but then I was somewhat adopted by a group of Argentinian soccer players. The way Castellano is spoken is so much faster and different than the Salvadorian spanish I learned while living in El Salvador. They were literally my only friends though for a few years and I still speak to them all daily so it has really improved my ability to speak and understand spanish. I am not perfect though and I am sure I will need a lot of help still as I go.

    As for medical, that is my big concern between today and OCT 3. I HAVE to get a Yellow Fever shot/ Card and I will probably take anything else they recommend me getting at the office. Most borders dont ask for the card until you get into South America from what I can see.

    The 1090? Well its a long story, but basically same power as my GS, a little bit less to break, about 40lbs lighter, a 21 inch front tire, and a few other things. I do have to admit that the GS with electronic cruise control and some other bits here and there is probably the better bike for THIS trip, but the KTM will still be great for me. I am planning to get a couple of dirt roads here and there too, so it will be nice for that.

    Sponsorships can be anything from a discount on parts, to parts, to money for expenses etc. These companies just have contacted me and offered one of the above. I will say that I am not seeing $$$ from anyone that could make or break the trip or anything though either. I have a facebook page for the trip so most people have contacted me that way. The company I really wish would call me and give me a deal on some panniers, if nothing else, is @MoskoMoto.


    After going through a lot of options, I am leaning towards the spot 3 and having the iphone as well. Looking at other trip reports and maps etc, I will have access to cell service or Wifi at least every couple of days if not daily. I have the inreach sitting in a bag by my desk ready to return today. I was really disappointed that there are so many countries it doesnt have on the latin american maps and I cant find a way to buy third party maps for it.

    I will think long and hard on this today. Maybe wait to return it till just before I go.


    Yeah to be honest I love that I am going solo. It is a little bit more intimidating, but I can go where I want, I dont have to discuss it with anyone and move at my own pace lol. I am selfish I guess lol. Plus usually people have A couch for you not a couch for you and 3 of your closest friends :)

    That would be great. I will wait to take the inreach back until I hear from you. I am still trying to figure out maps for: guatemala, belize, el salvador, nicaragua, costa rica, and bolivia. I dont know why they dont offer those.


    I am there with you @MasterMarine From what I can see, a spot 3 with the preset messages in my pocket, combined with a good offline GPS map system for my phone should work just fine. I will need to get a ram mount and some kind of case for the phone, but that should work great. I will look in to the montanas though too. I was thinking of buying a garmin in Mexico because their website says those ones come pre loaded with latin america on them, but those countries I need would still be missing.
    #27
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  8. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    I am going to keep track of trip expenses too. I want to record every penny I can. The one thing to keep in mind, is that I own a lot of the gear prior to leaving, as well as a passport etc. So I will just show added costs as I go.

    Today I bought Mexico Trip insurance. 6 days, full coverage with theft insurance was $91.53 through bajabound.com (HDI Seguros)

    Also booked my Ferry Ticket from La Paz to Mazatlan for Oct 7 ($192.02)
    #28
  9. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    What does a vessel built in 1903 have to do with my journey? It will be be my bridge from Panama to Colombia!

    I am booked for the October 30 voyage, so I will have about 27 days to get from Portland to San Blas, Panama.

    Not everyone knows that there is no road connecting Panama and Colombia. In the Darien Province of Panama, the Panamerican Highway ends. From there, you will find about 100 miles of the roughest jungle crossing on earth. Although some have taken their bikes across the gap (like my friend Jd Smith), it takes a lot of skill, time, patience, and probably some luck. I have none of that stuff, so I will be bypassing the gap as a passenger on the Stahlratte, a vessel built in 1903 that sails from San Blas, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia.

    For more information on the Stahlratte, visit: www.stahlratte.org @Stahlratte
    #29
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  10. Bald Tim

    Bald Tim Huh?

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    Following this (and your FB page) closely. I'm considering riding down for the eclipse in 2019.
    #30
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  11. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Welcome to the ride report!

    Keep me in the loop. Maybe I can swing that too lol
    #31
  12. 97707

    97707 Go Long

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    Sponsors came to you and offered to throw kit and cash at you? Jeez bud, a charmed existence you live.

    .
    #32
  13. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Let me try and better explain...

    Honestly yes, Especially since posting the ride in a number of groups and pages. Taking a bike that is fairly new to market, some people want something to do with it. You do have to give them something in return though. Usually that comes from Youtube, facebook, and other social media coverage. One example is with Vanasche Motorsports. This is a small company that is in Albany. They make parts for the 690/ 701 platform, but are wanting to develop more for the 1090's. They happened to see this upcoming trip, and got in contact with me to see if I would run some of their parts and a sticker on the bike. At whatever level, they find it to be a form of advertising for them.
    #33
  14. dhiatt3

    dhiatt3 n00b

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    All over it, here and Facebook. Cheers to making it happen. Safe travels and enlightening discoveries. Peace.
    #34
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  15. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Thanks M8! Excited to have you along. I am just doing this thread so we have a bigger group for my search and rescue party when I disappear :)

    I am getting excited to leave!
    #35
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  16. oneway

    oneway Long timer

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    I hope to be headed that way soon, but you are going way too fast for me!
    Wave as you go by.
    #36
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  17. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    I will be the guy doing a wheelie as I go by. JK 15 years later, still cant do those.
    #37
  18. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    IMG_1563.JPG
    #38
  19. dhiatt3

    dhiatt3 n00b

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    I'm right here in Portland with you. Until you depart of course. Safe travels.
    #39
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  20. TanukiPDX

    TanukiPDX Been here awhile

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    Sounds good to me!

    I set up a travel blog today and integrated into my site. I also got the Garmin activated and played with maps. Something that I learned, is that the Inreach Explorer + maps are FREE! You do not pay extra for them, and you pick and choose what you want through the website for the Explorer.

    I should add that the subscription costs are:

    $65/ month with unlimited Texting on the device
    Annual Fees include:

    • $18- $100,000 Emergency evacuation/ recovery insurance
    • $25- annual service fee
    Here is a link to the blog, but I will probably be doing more real time updates on this forum.

    http://www.brentcheney.com/anartistabroad/
    #40
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